Movie Diary 10/12/2020

Totally Under Control (Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, Suzanne Hillinger, 2020). We’re still living through the damn thing, so much of the material in this documentary about the Trump administration’s pandemic response is well-known. Still, Gibney & co. create blistering momentum, and some of the talking heads are forceful (and, in the case of a young man who volunteered for Jared Kushner’s doomed task force, revelatory). It’s so new it includes the fact that Trump tested positive.

Major Arcana (Josh Melrod, 2019). A quietly-developing indie that finds surprising variations on its story about a man, newly sober, who single-handedly builds a cabin upon his return to his home town. More here.

Closely Watched Trains (Jiri Menzel, 1966). Menzel died recently, so this movie came into my head. Oddball, sardonic, deadpan, it makes sense as an Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film, and it follows its satirical bent all the way to its logical and brutal conclusion.

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